Saturday, March 22, 2014

Round Robin Blog with Ginger - #RndRbn0314 
Welcome to the March Round Robin...the brain child of Rhobin Courtright. This month, we're discussing villians. Do you need them, when do you use them, and what is the most diabolical type?

When I think of bad guys, Snidely Whiplash immediately comes to mind.  I picture someone curling a long, dark moustache around gnarly fingers while emitting at throaty, evil chuckle at another's misfortune. 

 I mentally sifted back through my stories to see whether or not  I've used someone similar, and I believe I haven't. I rely more on circumstances than a person who gets in the way. I don't need a physical presence in my novels to create obstacles and hardships.

  In Time Invested, Megan's Father  interfered with a budding relationship because he didn't trust enlisted men.  In Sarah's Heart and Sarah's Passion, the villain was existing prejudice towards those born of half-blood  Sometimes, I've used self-doubt, other times, I've used the ignorance of others, but I don't believe I've ever inserted someone like Snidely who you'd actually call a diabolical villain. 

I've read books where there are actual villains, but I considered them more secondary characters, and as long as they had a personality and moved the story forward, I was fine with their presence, but I really don't see the need to have a "Snidely" in my stories. I think villains are more suited for cartoons...the mean guys who tie ladies to railroad tracks or foreclose on mortgages when the snow is three feet deep outside.  Of course, if you ask me about someone riding in on a white horse to save the heroine, that's a whole different situation, and one I like to write.  :)

Here's a little example of an obstacle that becomes a villainous circumstance in one of my current WIPS:

A glance at the shack they called home served as a reminder there was no reason to stay in this God-forsaken place, but Pa saw something she didn't and remained determined to make this their permanent home.  Perhaps his resolve grew because they’d been driven from every other place they’d lived…either by crooked tax men or cattlemen who didn't want to share the rangeland.  Pa came from a family that raised sheep and saw that as his calling.

Harlee cranked the bucket up and shielded her eyes against the sun while looking longingly at the sky for any hint of rain, A few wispy white clouds drifted across a sea of blue, and in the distance, vultures circled some poor critter either dead or dying.  Her heart ached for such a gruesome end to life.

She turned her attention back to the chore at hand. The bucket crested the well’s top, only half full this time.  The water used to be so high, she often bent over and stared at her reflection.  Doubtful she could see it now, she crawled up on the stone ledge and peered over, searching for any hint of her likeness. Stretching farther . . . she still saw nothing but emptiness.  The old stone beneath her grip gave way, sending her tumbling head first into the black abyss. Her screams echoed back to her.

BTW..this is called the Well and will be a historical time-travel.

Now...jump on over to my fellow Round Robin Bloggers and see what they have to say:

Anne Graham writing as Anne Stenhouse at
Aimee writing as A.J. Maguire at
Marci Baun
Diane Bator at
Fiona McGier at
Ginger Simpson at
Geeta Kakade at 
Connie Vines at
Beverley Bateman -
Rhobin Courtright -


  1. Hi Ginger, Being in the UK, I'm first up reading everybody's post. Interesting point of view here. Mine is different - maybe because I wrote plays first, I hear people speaking and so need actual bodies. Anne Stenhouse

  2. Enjoyed the excerpt; always like the vernacular your characters use, a constant reminder of time and place. And you're right, circumstances and setting can be villainous enough without a villain character, too!

  3. Anne,
    I'm also a panster, but for some reason, villains rarely speak to me. Guess, I'm lucky or they rely on me to resolve problems they encounter and I elect to do it without an actual person to blame. Who knows why we handle situations like we do....perhaps because there's a little of all of us in our writing.

  4. Back after visiting my fellow bloggers and I have a whole new perspective on Villains. I have more in my stories than I thought. None of them look like Snidely Whiplash, and that was my whole problem. *lol*

    Notice I have no obstacles to posting here...I hate those "prove you aren't a robot thingies".

  5. HI Ginger, I have "cartoon-envy" of your Snidely Whiplash picture! I'm too scared these days to use ANY pictures on my blog that aren't my own covers. I don't want to be sued!

    As for villains, they're not all violent, and they usually don't look or act evil...that's part of what makes them so damned effective. You don't realize what they're doing to you until it's too late. I used to warn my kids when they were younger that the nicest man, the one who makes them feel at ease around him, might be a pederast. Huh? Yes, if he appeared evil or threatening, no kids would ever trust him or go with him anywhere. So he HAS to seem to be nice to get them to trust him. I told them no villains wear signs around their neck warning what kind of evil they enjoy, so treat everyone like they're capable of hurting you and be careful! I hated having to say all of that, but in today's world, you want them prepared.

  6. And thanks for the "no capcha"! They're not quite so bad recently, now that they're mostly using numbers, which are easier to read than the old letters-only ones.

  7. Villains do have their place, but I don't think a story absolutely, positively has to have a villain to work. Challenges to overcome? Yes. Perhaps negative people, but not necessarily villains. However, certain genres do require villains just by their nature. :)


  8. Snidely Whiplash. I'd forgotten all about him. Ginger, as always I look forward to all of your posts.

  9. Isn't it interesting that three of us all picked the cartoon of Snidely for our blog on villains?
    He's such an evil person, but not a scary one. The ones today are so different.


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